I was sitting in my 2012 Volkswagen Jetta, Luis, the other day. The windows were cracked, and a breeze seeped through my sweater. I admired the sight of red and orange leaves falling off of suburban Georgia's giant trees.
The one thing that tied all of these autumnal vibes together was the music coming from my little gray car's speaker system. Soft sounds filled the car, and I sang along, my eyes closed.
I was playing my autumn alternative playlist. Here are 10 underrated songs from it:
At the Party by Black Belt Eagle Scout
At the Party, a track off of Katherine Paul's 2019 album "At the Party With My Brown Friends" simply pleads to be on all fall-themed playlists.
It starts off with electric guitar picking, then adds acoustic drums and Paul's "oohs." Her vocals are soothing and have the perfect amount of longing to them as she sings "I'll think of you from a nice place."
This song is the most atmospheric on this list.
Old Flame by Darryl Rahn
This track, about an ex-fling of alternative folk musician Darryl Rahn, is based around acoustic guitar. The chord progression matches the autumnal energy well.
The toned-down instrumental and the storytelling in Rahn's lyrics make for a calm song. It's perfect to accompany you while you drink pumpkin coffee.
mom i think i'm gay by Boyish
India Shore of duo Boyish sings about an LGBT crush with delayed vocals over a mostly piano instrumental.
I usually save piano-heavy tracks for the snowy season, but this song somehow fits perfectly with the 60-degree weather. I think the barely-there electric guitar picking makes the song this way.
Criminals - Acoustic by Loyal Lobos
This song is just Andrea Silva's gorgeous, un-edited vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar picking.
In this version, the original song has been stripped to the simplest it could be, but the lyrics are still the same. They're full of emotion and dedication to a lover by the name of Sam.
The lyrics are sinister at times, like with the lines "I'd kill for you... / hide the body and run away."
The track matches the darker aspect of the season nicely.
Mirror Man by Sunblossom
Mirror Man is a cozy bedroom-produced song. It's busy yet simple in the best way. It has acoustic drums, backing vocals, loud guitar and interesting lyrics.
Patrick, the mastermind behind Sunblossom, has vocals which make me feel at ease. The words sound natural as he sings them. Nothing about this track is forced.
Kids by Hoppy
Kids opens with keyboard and powerful vocals by the band's lead singer. His tone is always emotional, and he pushes on the notes, making them soulful.
While most of the songs on this list are calm and contained, this one needs to be blasted. It doesn't have the energy of sitting in a park while leaves fall around you, but rather it fits with the season's less-calm side. It matches the more upbeat vibes that Halloween parties and Friday night football games have.
R.I.P. by Elita
In this eerie song off of Elita's 2020 EP "Bloodsucker," Emma Harvey, the vocalist and face of Elita, wants to tell an ex-lover she is not messing around.
Elita's signature sound is Harvey's high-pitched, soft vocals, and R.I.P. incorporates them perfectly. Underneath her haunting voice, a sound like an alarm plays alongside electric guitar picking.
My favorite part is when the instrumental picks up by incorporating loud bass.
"Final words carved into headstone," Harvey sings to end the song. "Now I know something you don't."
I Also Have Eyes by Florist
This song is perfect for a day you can hear raindrops splattering onto your window. It's an acoustic track with mesmerizing, calm vocals by the band's lead singer Emily Sprauge. Her voice is so soft, it's almost like a whisper.
The lyrics are lovely, with lines like "everyone I know, including myself / is a hungry dog running towards the horizon." Instead of reading poetry, you can put in your earbuds and play this song.
Not the Same by Smootboi Ezra
Electric guitar in a minor key welcomes listeners to Not the Same. It's a gloomy song with regretful and indecisive tones. I love the harmonies that occur almost throughout the whole track.
This song is cozy yet cold at the same time. Ezra's voice sounds like how a hug feels, but then again, they're whining "who have you been telling my secrets to" over sad chords. It's like being bundled up in a jacket while cold fall air hits your face.
Is there Something in the Movies? - Full Band Version by Samia
This re-make of the popular track by the same musician is one of my all-time favorite songs.
This version adds electric guitar, drums and more. The extra instruments add even more emotion to Samia Najimy Finnerty's already deep, gorgeous lyrics. This is a great song to feel your feelings to.
Cheers to eating pumpkin bread and listening to these songs all season long!